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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Of Selangor Open - Round 8

With two more rounds to go, perfect scorer IM Nolte (7/7) will face another Philippine player in Stewart Manaog who so far has amassed 5 1/2 points. A win by Nolte in this round will place him in a commanding position at the head of the pack and an almost certainty that he will clinch the championship title. 
On Table 2, another Philippines player Ian Udani who has so far collected 6 points (one point shy of the leader) will be playing against local long time chess player Jax Tham Tick Hong who is half point behind at 5 1/2. Tick Hong had played well to crawl back into the leading pack having suffered a surprising loss to Syazrin Abdul Rahman in Round 1. A win over Ian in this round will definitely put Jax in a good position to catch up with the leader although it may not be enough for him to stop the "Nolte Express".
On Table 3, the erratic Sumant will face off against the steadier and the more consistent player in Saprin Sabri. Both players have so far collected 5 points each and a win for either player, coupled with any points dropped by the leaders will definitely put them in a position that will provide some opportunities to challenge for the top spot.
Going down the list, Table 4 sees former National Champion Kamalariffin Wahiduddin (who had suffered critical losses in Round 5 and Round 7) paired against Fong Yit San.
On Table 5, after 2 consecutive losses in the previous 2 rounds, Zaidan is paired to play the white pieces against Alfred Ting, another player who had managed to slip his way into the leading pack. While Zaidan is trying to shake off his bad run, Alfred will probably have other ideas to help him solidify his position further into the leader board. Two juniors, Roshan and Nabil will fight it out on Table 6 and on Table 7, the surprise performer of the event, Syazrin Abdul Rahman will be playingn against Kamaluddin Yusof. 
Reigning Woman Champion WCM Nur Nabila is paired to meet Fong Yit Ho on Table 8 whilst junior Lim Ming Xian will face the much more experience Abdul Aziz Shukor on the next Table 9. On Table 10, veteran Lim Kian Hwa will meet junior Tan Yong Zhao. 

Round 8 will be critical for players to get within reach of the leading pack and for the leaders, the round also provides opportunity to break further into a much more comfortable position. With the way things are going, the champion and the runner up position is almost certain with players now only eying for the 3rd position and below. Should IM Nolte and Manaog draw on Table 1, it will not be surprising to see the top three winners in the 39th edition of the Selangor Open being conquered by the Filipino.
Dato Tan playing a game with Abdul Hamid watched by IA Lim Tse Pin and Jan Lim. Dato Tan was at the center to attend the CAS AGM which was held at the same venue during the afternoon break between Round 6 and Round 7
Scene at the playing hall at the start of Round 7


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